Insights Lecture Series

Co-presented by the Walker Art Center and AIGA Minnesota, 2016 marks the 30th anniversary of the Insights Lecture Series bringing the world’s leading graphic designers to the Twin Cities to share their work, process, and experience. Past lectures are archived at

Tuesdays in March at the Walker Cinema

Single tickets: $24 ($18 Walker/AIGA members, $10/students) + service fee
Series tickets: $85 ($60/$40) + service fee

To purchase series tickets online, add all four lectures to your cart and the discount will be automatically applied. Walker Box Office: 612.375.7600.

The 2016 series once again features an international lineup of speakers:

Sulki and Min Choi (Seoul)
March 1: Seoul-based designers and practitioners Sulki and Min Choi work in both Roman and Hangul alphabets and exert an almost scientific approach to the use of words in design.
Info & Registration »

Brian Roettinger (Los Angeles)
March 8: Uncanny union of punk ideology + conceptually driven mode of modernist design = Brian Roettinger’s manipulated production process in unexpected or “wrong” ways.
Info & Registration »

Jon Sueda (San Francisco)
March 15: Jon Sueda has carved out a unique practice with a curious perspective—creating design, generating dialogue about the field, and helping shape the designers of the future.
Info & Registration »

Susan Sellers (New York)
March 22: From global design agency 2×4 to Yale School of Art to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Susan Sellers is at the epicenter of the world’s most exciting design and cultural scenes.
Info & Registration »



All past lectures archived at

Highlights of past lectures include:

Job Wouters—better known as Letman—is a practitioner of the lost art of psychedelic and delirious penmanship, a letterer who’s precisely honed technique hides behind a world of unbridled alphabetic experimentation. Creating wildly unique work that nods to the past but transcends vernacular nostalgia, Wouters operates between illustration, graffiti, painting, and graphic design. The Amsterdam-based designer has worked for clients such as the New York Times Magazine, Audi, Tommy Hilfiger, Heineken, and Duvel, creating editorial illustrations, fabric prints, posters, typefaces, site-specific murals, and even body-paint designs. He is the recipient of numerous design awards and his first monograph was released by Gestalten publishing in 2012. He was recently commissioned by the Walker to create a mural. Wouters will perform his hand-lettering technique live during the Insights lecture.

Casey Caplowe is a three-time finalist for the National Magazine Awards, Good is a diverse enterprise with a printed magazine, a Web platform, and a convener of events. With the tagline, “For People Who Give a Damn,” Good has become a catalyst for more socially engaged thinking around issues of health, food, the environment, and design. The Los Angeles–based Casey Caplowe is a cofounder of Good and serves as creative director. Part of Insights 2011 Design Lecture Series.

Peter Buchanan-Smith is a New York–based designer, author, and entrepreneur whose career has included designing book jackets for Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux; art direction of the New York Times Op-Ed page; creative direction for Paper magazine; and work for fashion icon Isaac Mizrahi, musical legends David Byrne, Brian Eno, Philip Glass, and the band Wilco. He is the author of several books, including The Wilco Book, and he has collaborated on many others, including Strunk and White’s classic The Elements of Style with illustrator Maira Kalman, and Muhammad Ali by Magnum Photographers. His first tome, Speck: A Curious Collection of Uncommon Things—which originated as a thesis project at the School of Visual Arts, where he also teaches—explores the fascinating lives of ordinary people and commonplace objects. This connection between people and objects is also at the heart of Buchanan-Smith’s latest venture, Best Made Co., a purveyor of bespoke axes that offers not only a finely crafted tool but an entrée into the symbolic world conjured by the object and summoned by its owner (adventure, hard work, balance, and so on). Part of Insights 2010 Design Lecture Series.

James Goggin established Practise, a London-based studio that garnered acclaim for its work with clients such as Tate Modern, Channel 4, Artangel, and the Design Museum. He was art director of the British music magazine The Wire, has served as tutor at the Werkplaats Typografie in the Netherlands and at ECAL in Switzerland, and has written for publications such as Dot, Dot, Dot. In 2010, Goggin became director of design, print, and digital media at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art. Part of Insights 2011 Design Lecture Series.

Irma Boom is widely hailed as one of the world’s leading designers and has been making books of conceptual rigor, technical virtuosity, and material inventiveness since founding her practice in Amsterdam in 1991. Boom is the youngest laureate to receive the Gutenberg Prize for her body of work. Among her many design awards and honors is the Leipzig Book Fair’s prestigious designation of Weaving as Metaphor, a book about artist Sheila Hicks, as the “most beautiful book in the world.” Whether by expanding her role as a designer by also acting as editor or archivist, or through experiments with paper, binding, color, typography, and image, Boom’s approach consistently produces books with unique visual and tactile experiences. Her varied clientele includes museums and galleries, such as the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, the Boijmans Van Beuningen, and de Appel, as well as manufacturers and retailers like Vitra and Camper, organizations such as the United Nations and the Netherlands Architecture Institute, and design collaborations with Petra Blaisse of Inside Outside. Part of Insights 2010 Design Lecture Series.

Aaron Draplin makes his home in Portland, Oregon, but is more a product of being born, raised, and educated in the Midwest. A native of Detroit, he studied graphic design at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design before heading out west to work as art director of Snowboarder magazine. He founded Draplin Design Company (DDC) in 2004, producing a wide range of award-winning projects and developing products for businesses such as Coal Headwear; board designs for Ride, Forum, and Gnu; conceiving Field Notes journals with Coudal Partners in Chicago; and the array of merchandise for the DDC brand enterprise. Draplin’s iconic forms and bold designs are steeped in a no-nonsense Midwestern vernacular and work ethic. They project an authenticity and attitude that seems inseparable from his self-deprecating personality and his clients’ passions, reflected in the DDC motto, “Work hard and do good work for good people.” Part of Insights 2012 Design Lecture Series.